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How Long Does a Mattress Last? – Signs That it’s Time to Buy a New One

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The average lifespan of a mattress is between 7-10 years. This average includes all mattress types – those made of latex, memory foam, or good-old coil springs. If you have a quality mattress and are taking proper care of it, your mattress may even last up to 20 years (this is rare, though).

Most mattresses have a warranty of 10 years or more. If you’re about to buy a mattress with a warranty period shorter than this, you should probably think twice. A ten-year warranty allows you a decent period of time to use it and you can easily return the faulty mattress provided that the time to replace it comes within 10 years.

The Lifespan of Various Mattress Types

The lifespans of two mattresses of the same model can vary greatly – this is because wear and tear depends on how and how much you’re using your mattress. However, you can still predict how long your mattress will last based on its type.

memory foam mattress corner

Signs That You Need to Replace Your Mattress

You need to think about buying a new mattress (and maybe go with an entirely new type of mattress) if:

  • You wake up tired and/or sore with pains (typically back pain). Of course, an old mattress can’t be the only possible culprit for your poor sleep, but you should definitely consider getting a new one if you’ve exhausted all other options. Mattresses lose their ability to give your body proper support after some time. For example, if you have an innerspring mattress, you’ll end up lying on springs when the top foam layer wears. This creates painful pressure points on the hips, shoulders, and sometimes knees.
  • You sleep better in another bed. It’s pretty clear that your mattress is bad when other places feel more comfortable. Your bed should give you proper support so that you could get proper rest and complete recovery.
  • Your mattress squeaks loudly. If the mattress is ok, it may be your box spring that’s making the noise. Either way, check the condition of the whole bed and inspect it carefully to see if any part is uneven or saggy.
  • Your mattress sags. Sagging or indentations of over 1.5″ can cause pain and discomfort. One thing to note: a relatively new mattress will get impressions in the shape of your body, but those are small impressions and they actually help in giving you support. When old mattresses start breaking down, they get uncomfortable changes in shape and you may feel that you’re sagging into the mattress.
  • You have allergies. Breathing difficulties, puffy eyes and face, frequent sneezing, aggravated asthma, skin problems – those may be signs of excessive accumulation of skin cells, dust mites and their excrement. It’s so bad that your immune system has a strong reaction. If this is the only problem with your mattress, you can try to clean it thoroughly and let it sit in the sun for an afternoon. If that doesn’t solve your allergies, you should get a new mattress.
  • Your mattress has mold or bed bugs. You can clean your mattress of mold or bed bugs if the problem is present in a tiny area. If not, you should get rid of the mattress. Both of them produce toxic gasses that you shouldn’t be around, especially when you’re sleeping.

Wear Signs By Mattress Type

Here are the common signs of wear and tear for each type of mattress.

  • Innerspring mattresses have coils that can get out of place and poke through. Moreover, they can get really noisy and have worse motion isolation with time. An innerspring mattress has a comfort foam layer over the coils. This layer of foam can get worn or flattened out, making the mattress uneven, and uncomfortable. Finally, such a mattress sags and later becomes unusable. Pocketed coils are typically better at motion isolation and can help the spring mattress last longer.
  • Hybrid mattresses have coils (usually wrapped coils) and a thick layer of memory foam or latex foam to provide better motion isolation, comfort, and support. But still, an old hybrid will start sagging when the coils give in.
  • Memory foam mattresses can also sag, but this problem happens later than in most other mattresses. Their problem is that they lose support and become uneven. They won’t have the “memory” property after several years.
  • Latex mattresses will become softer over time. A natural latex mattress is biodegradable and the more you use it, the shorter its lifespan. A synthetic latex mattress is typically less durable and less springy than a natural one.

If you haven’t cleaned it regularly, your mattress is also likely to have a bad smell of all the sweat, body oils, skin cells, and dust mites that have accumulated over the years.

Don’t ignore signs of wear – if the mattress’s life expectancy is over and it’s not comfortable anymore, it means it’s time to replace it with a new mattress or an entire bed.

Made bed in bedroom

Mattress Lifespan Depends On Several Factors

If you’re still wondering “How long does a mattress last?”, one of the answers may be – it depends on how much wear and tear you subject it to. Even the best mattresses can’t be good for long if you’re ruining them by inappropriate treatment.

  • Materials. A high-quality mattress is made of durable materials. One memory foam mattress may last for two years only and the other 10 years – it depends on how good the materials are.
  • Box spring. Avoid a cheap or incompatible box spring. Your mattress’s lifespan can get much shorter if you keep it on a foundation that will be damaging it every night with bad springs or an uneven surface. The bed base should be neat and together with the right mattress, it forms a perfect bed.
  • Cleaning. If you’re cleaning it properly, your mattress will live longer. Don’t be too aggressive when cleaning tough stains – getting those areas weaker now may result in holes or bigger impressions in the future. But do make sure you’re cleaning it regularly. Otherwise, it will keep getting dirtier, smellier, mustier, and will likely promote allergic reactions or worsen your asthma symptoms.
  • Pressure. That includes body weight, leaving heavy items on the bed, and jumping on it. If your body weight is over 250 lbs, get a hybrid mattress and try not to sleep on the same side all the time. If you’re storing a mattress, or your mattress is in a room that you don’t use frequently, do not leave heavy items on the bed. Even a new mattress may get disfigured after it’s been under constant unnecessary pressure. Coils can get bent and memory foam could not return to its original shape.

All these factors can make your mattress sag, and although there are some things you can do to fix a sagging mattress, most people find it much easier to just buy a new mattress and get it over with.

How to Prolong The Lifespan of A Mattress

You can get your mattress to stay clean longer and, in general, last longer if you take some extra steps and give it proper care.

  • Use a mattress protector (mattress topper) to protect it against dirt, sweat, spills, etc.
  • Rotate the mattress every 6 months or so. Flip it every year or so (if it’s flippable and most of them are). This way, you will wear the entire mattress evenly and you won’t have a giant depression on one spot. Also, the wear and tear will come at a later point.
  • Don’t let your kids jump on the bed and keep pets off.
  • Air out the mattress occasionally to let it release any built-up moisture.
  • Read the cleaning instructions carefully and if unsure, call the company to ask how to treat your mattress. Clean the mattress regularly.
  • Be careful when storing or moving your mattress – don’t put heavy or sharp items on it and protect it using a plastic bag.

It’s always good to take care of your stuff and have them for a longer period of time. Well-cared-for items are also easier to sell. When you make sure that your mattress lasts long, you’ll also be getting better sleep.

mattresses in store

Your Mattress And A Good Night’s Sleep

Your current mattress plays a big role in your sleep quality – if it’s too firm, it may give you aching points, if it’s too soft, you may just sink it and have none of the support, which also causes pain. All of this leads to a poor night’s sleep.

Poor sleep and sleep deprivation are known to have many adverse effects on our wellbeing, such as:

  • cardiovascular diseases
  • mood disorders
  • memory issues
  • weak immunity

to name a few. So, if you’re trying to get a good night’s sleep, check to see if it’s time to replace your mattress, bed frame/bed base, etc.

Think about proper care – mattress topper or a mattress protector and frequent cleaning against dust mites, bed bugs, and dirt. Rotate and flip your mattress and avoid putting unnecessary pressure on it.

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